Brighton 1 - 1 Liverpool
Brighton: Groß 90+3’ (PEN)
Liverpool: Jota 59’
Klopp continues his mixing and matching in defense and the midfield. The Reds start the game with a Nat Phillips/Fabinho center-back pairing and a midfield of Milner, Minamino and Wijnaldum. It’s a cold and dreary day in Brighton as the team kicks off.
Liverpool start off brightly. Within the first five minutes, Diogo Jota and Minamino both nearly set up Salah. Jota’s pass doesn’t quite meet the target while Salah gets blocked for the second and the ball goes out for a corner.
After that, however, Brighton began to work themselves into the game, finding easy ways around the makeshift defense.
In the 19th minute, substitute right-back Neco Williams concedes a reckless foul in the box, and Brighton find themselves with a penalty. Alisson dives the wrong way for Neal Maupay’s spot kick, but luckily the shot is wide. For the second week in a row, Liverpool are let off after conceding a penalty.
The game remains goalless, but Brighton look like the best side at the moment.
Maupay’s day has gone from bad to worse. He falls down with a likely hamstring injury and limps off of the pitch after failing to get his team ahead. Liverpool play for several minutes up a man as Brighton ready Maupay’s substitute, but they can’t make the numerical advantage count.
Only Brighton’s inability get a shot on target have saved Liverpool so far. The Reds have been chasing the home side who, thankfully, couldn’t seem to make that final touch count. That experimental midfield will need an overhaul at halftime, because they’re getting spanked right now. Jordan Henderson is on the bench, so look for him to come on and tighten them up.
Then against the run of play, Salah scores in the 33rd minute. However, the goal is deemed offside, and Liverpool’s momentary joy has been extinguished once again through the scourge of VAR.
A missed penalty and an offside goal mean that the two teams head into halftime without a goal.
As expected, Henderson comes on in the second half, but it’s as a replacement for Williams. Milner moves to right-back and Henderson takes his place in the middle of the pitch.
As in the first half, Liverpool start off well, but begin to let Brighton work their way back inside the first 10 minutes.
GOALLLL! 59 Jota - Any surprise, it’s Jota who opens up the scoring for Liverpool. Thanks goes to Andy Robertson, who deftly maneuvers around Yves Bissouma to begin the attack. Robertson gets the ball to Salah, and there’s an interchange between him and Jota, before Jota slots it home.
And now Brighton bring off their best player today, Aaron Connolly, who is not pleased to be replaced by former Liverpool man Adam Lallana. Not to be outdone, Salah visibly sulks when he’s substituted by teammate Sadio Mané at the 60 minute mark. It’s clear that Klopp is trying to manage his superstars’ fitness in the face of mounting injuries and, like, 5,000 upcoming games.
Speaking of injuries, first Lallana goes down within eight minutes, and then moments later, Milner massages his hamstring and gets taken out for Curtis Jones. Jones himself is just barely back to fitness, so this is fun. Loving it. Great game.
Oh hey, and there goes Phillips, falling heavily and requiring medical assistance. Liverpool have already made their three changes, so though Klopp looked concerned, the young defender stays on the pitch.
Ben White goes studs up on Jota and earns himself a yellow card and Liverpool a free kick. Robertson takes it, and Mané scores, but the goal is rightly called off by VAR. Can’t complain about that one...but I will, obviously.
There are five additional minutes for Liverpool to try and hold on for the three points here. Wow, Robertson...I don’t even know. Kind of touches Danny Welbeck’s foot with his toes as they both go for the ball. After doing a VAR check, the referee deems this a penalty. I guess Robertson kicked out? I don’t know. I’m tired. It’s too early for this.
Goal 90+3’ Pascal Groß - Groß converts the penalty and the two teams split the points.
A draw is probably a fair result given the performances, but I’m not happy about it.